Sunday, January 27, 2008


The Wall Street Journal has a story focusing on all the former Minnesota athletes now starring in Boston, and the general disparity of sports success between Minneapolis and Boston. Writes Jon Weinbach:

"The cities have some similarities. Each is a top 15 U.S. media market, based on television viewers. Both are home to a number of large corporate headquarters, and both ranked in the top 20 U.S. cities in per-capita personal income in 2006, according to the Department of Commerce.

"Yet Boston is leagues ahead in the competitiveness of its sports teams, and the recent exodus of talent has only fueled the pessimism in Minnesota."

In general, a relatively coincidental connection between Minnesota and Boston sports highlights a simple reality: poor management for Minnesota's pro sports organizations.


  1. Anonymous5:26 PM

    Comparing the Twin Cities and Boston baseball markets, because Pohlad is a rich guy, is really misleading. The number of billionaires who are willing to lose money are few and far between; even Steinbrenner tries to at least break even. The Boston baseball market delivers tens of millions of dollars more in local media revenue alone, giving the Red Soz a substantial advantage; mistakes or unlucky injuries which would throw the Twins deep into the red for multiple years can be amortized relatively painlessly in Boston.

    The Red Sox have a much larger margin for error when constructing their roster, which is why Santana is going to be traded, perhaps to the Red Sox. Since going through some painful years in adjusting to the salary spike of the early nineties, and re-concentrating on their farm system in response, the Twins have been a well-managed organization, and it can be reasonably argued that, on a revenue-adjusted basis, that they have been every bit as well-managed as the Red Sox. They have certainly performed well enough that they should not be lumped in with the Vikings, or heaven forbid, the Timberwolves. It remains to be seen whether they well-utilize the revenues that their taxpayer funded stadium will provide

  2. I originally wrote a longer bit that started with "Of course the Red Sox have financial advantages that the Twins don't have, but the Timberwolves and Vikings..."

    You're right: the Twins are distinct from the Vikings and Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are run so poorly it's comical, and the Vikings have had issues, but I actually feel the Wilf-era Vikings do have a plan.

  3. Anonymous10:20 AM

    I too think Wilf has put together a good team. What will happen if stadium subsides are not forthcoming will be the test, because I doubt that Wilf has the patience to spend ten years effectively lobbying in the manner the Twins did.

    I really shouldn't waste any energy lamenting the Vikings' recent history, but the McCombs era really was a travesty, whereas the previous ownership group was merely less than ideal. Competent management, with the elements of the roster in place after Green's last season, would have had a terrific chance to build a contender.

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